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International Programmers' Day

International Programmers' Day is a day to remember the accomplishments of computer programmers and software developers and to honor them for their work. A programmer may go by a number of names, like computer programmer, software programmer, software engineer, software developer, or coder. Titles and descriptions of the job vary. Similar names may be used interchangeably, or different names may be used for different roles.

A programmer may write, test, debug, and maintain computer programs. They may program websites, mobile devices, microcontrollers, and backend systems. They may be a specialist in one area of computers or be a generalist who writes code for many kinds of software. Some of the most common computer languages are C, C++, C#, JavaScript, Java, Rust, Python, and Go. Simple programs may take a few hours to write, more difficult ones may take more than a year, and some are ongoing, continually being improved.

Ada Lovelace, a British countess and mathematician, is considered to be the first computer programmer because she was the first to publish an algorithm for a program, which was to be used on Charles Babbage's analytical engine in 1842. The engine wasn't completed before Lovelace passed, so she never saw her work come to fruition.

The ENIAC programming team is considered to be the first group of regular computer programmers, and the Computer Usage Company, founded in 1955, is considered to be the first company that provided software products and services. Prior to the company's founding, computers were either programmed by customers or by one of the few computer manufacturers of the time, like IBM and Sperry Rand.

The software industry expanded during the 1960s. At that time, programs were often written by staff programmers that worked for the government, businesses, and universities. When the screens of personal computers (PCs) flickered on for the first time in the 1970s, office workers began using computers on an everyday basis. The PC also drove the rise of applications, utility software, and games, and the demand for software developers increased.

Today, programmers work in corporate IT departments, at software companies and small service firms, for government entities, and for consulting companies as contractors. Modern society is underpinned by software and applications, and if it weren't for programmers, this technology—and the convenience it brings—wouldn't exist. On International Programmers' Day, we remember the work of programmers and honor them for it!

How to Observe International Programmers' Day

A few ways to take part in the day include:

  • Show appreciation to programmers. Tell them you are thankful for their work and buy them a gift.
  • If you are a programmer, come together with other programmers and share with them about your favorite programming languages. You could also write code in pseudocode.
  • Become a programmer.
  • Enroll in a free programming class such as Harvard's popular CS50.

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